Tag: OnStar

By on August 1, 2011

GM’s Onstar division has long raised privacy concerns among the professionally paranoid, but now it’s putting all that observational power into the hands of consumers, with a pilot program called “Family Link.”  Described in GM’s presser as “a new optional service that will explore ways subscribers can stay connected to their loved ones,” the service includes

  • Vehicle Locate: The subscriber can log on to the Family Link website to view a map with the vehicle’s exact location at any time.
  • Vehicle Location Alert: Subscribers can set up email or text message notifications to let them know the location of their loved one’s vehicle. They can choose the day, time and frequency of the alerts.

But that’s not all: if the pilot proves that consumers are willing to pay for the right to surveil their loved ones,

Future considerations for the pilot include Speed Alert, Boundary Alert and Arrival/Departure Alert.

Forget Big Brother… with this system, you can be Big Daddy, in the center of your own little family-sized panopticon. From making sure the kids stay out of trouble (“Say, son, what were you doing in downtown Detroit last night?”) to checking up on your loving spouse (“Honey, why did you say you were going to the gym, when you just parked for an hour at the Slee-Zee Snooze Motel?”), it’s how today’s on-the-go families foster an atmosphere of suspicion and mistrust. Because why let the government have all the voyeuristic fun?

By on April 4, 2011

Steve writes:

Hi Sajeev,

For those of us who have entered the OnStar “Push On” contest that is giving away 10 GM vehicles of the winner’s choice and who feel lucky (yeah, right), we have a potential problem.  You get a GM vehicle of your choice and $25K to cover taxes, delivery, dealer prep, added dealer markup (in the spirit of the GTO, G8, Camaro…don’t put it past them), etc.

Here are the choices and my first thoughts:

(Read More…)

By on January 5, 2011

Dying to have OnStar in our car, but don’t want to buy a GM car? No problem! At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, GM unveiled an add-OnStar that fits (nearly) any car. (Read More…)

By on September 9, 2010

The never-ending tension between the desire to give consumers more choices of in-car gizmos and the need to halt the advance of distracted driving took another confused twist this week, as Onstar announced that it is testing new features that could allow drivers to listen to text messages and update their Facebook status from behind the wheel. According to the DetN, the technology would read incoming text messages or a Facebook news feed to the driver, and could even allow the driver to update their own Facebook status verbally. Needless to say, GM and Onstar are hyping the updates as ways to keep up with Ford’s SYNC on the entertainment front, and because the features are all hands-free, they’re safe… right?
(Read More…)

By on May 18, 2010

GM’s OnStar division is preparing for a big push into new info-tainment and connectivity services, and it’s launching the effort at Google’s I/O conference starting tomorrow. First up is a new Google-maps-based navigation feature for Android phones running the Chevy Volt mobile app, featured in the video above [presser here]. Though this new navigation system won’t be available at launch, but will emerge in a 2.0 version of the Volt mobile app, it hints at a new direction for OnStar, which traditionally markets itself as a safety feature. A senior (anonymous, sorry) source at GM took a moment to explain where this is all heading….
(Read More…)

By on May 12, 2010


The Wall Street Journal [sub] reports that GM and Google are discussing new ways to connect the internet giant’s Android mobile phone operating system with GM’s Onstar system. OnStar’s president Chris Preuss has hinted that “big news” is coming next week, spurring speculation about the features that a partnership with Google could yield for Onstar. If such a plan is in the works, GM’s timing is quite good. Ford had previously enjoyed an exclusive license to Microsoft’s technology which underpins its Sync system, but that agreement recently expired, prompting deals between Microsoft and automakers like Fiat and-Hyundai-Kia. By becoming the first US-market OEM to partner with Google, GM could enjoy an advantage in Detroit’s burgeoning technology wars… at least until distracted driving becomes a capital crime.

By on November 2, 2009

Nannification makes a great leap forward: OnStar services will be activated and fully operational in China in December 2009 on some Cadillac, Buick and Chevrolet vehicles, PRNewswire reports. The system will be operated by OnStar Telematics Company Limited, a joint venture between  GM and SAIC. According to the blurb, “this is OnStar’s first venture outside of North America in its 11-year history.”
(Read More…)

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